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6 Things to Consider Before Settling Your Workers' Comp Claim

6 Things to Consider Before Settling Your Workers' Comp Claim

If an insurance provider offers you a lump sum settlement for your workers’ compensation claim, it is imperative not to accept it immediately. You must keep in mind that insurers are only looking out for their own best interests, which means that the initial offer is often for an amount far less than the maximum amount they could potentially pay.

Consider the following six factors before deciding to accept a lump sum:

  1. Understand what settling means. If you are currently receiving weekly benefit checks for a specific work injury, they will stop and be replaced by a single, lump sum amount. However, if the insurer has been paying for your medical treatment, the settlement will not affect it.

  2. Calculate the value of your current claim. To determine a fair settlement amount, you must properly assess the value of your claim. The value refers to the actual amount the insurance company is likely to pay you over the life of the claim itself. Take the number of weeks left on your current claim, then multiply it by your weekly benefit.

  3. Determine the extended value of your claim. As soon as your current benefits cease, you may still be eligible for extended benefits. However, continued benefits are typically never more than 75% of your current amount.

  4. Consider the possibility that your benefits will continue. Your benefits will continue if you are unable to work. Nevertheless, insurance providers will do their best to ensure that you are truly incapable of physical labor. Whether it’s hiring private investigators to keep tabs on you or requiring you to see their doctors every few months or so, they will do whatever it takes to discontinue your benefits. You must make a thorough assessment of your physical condition.

  5. Think about the likelihood that your condition worsens. If your condition becomes worse or your end up permanently disabled, agreeing to a settlement while on temporary benefits may not be a wise choice. Workers who become completely and permanently disabled due to an injury on the job are entitled to workers’ comp benefits that do not expire, equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, and receive cost of living adjustments.

  6. Speak with an attorney. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can evaluate your claim and determine all of your available options in order to recover the maximum amount of your entitled compensation.

If you sustained an injury on the job and need skilled legal assistance in New Mexico, contact our Albuquerque workers’ comp attorney at Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law today.


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